Bovington’s Tank Museum has commemorated the 100th anniversary of its oldest running vehicle, an armoured Rolls Royce, by releasing an in-depth film that enthusiasts can enjoy, while the museum is closed under lockdown.
The Rolls Royce Armoured Car, which is one of only two of its kind still in existence, turned 100 years old on Thursday 5th November 2020.
The vehicle has served all over the world – including stints in Ireland, China and North Africa, before being brought back to England for patrols during World War Two.
In commemoration, the museum has released a special episode about the car’s history narrated by tank historian David Fletcher on YouTube.
A royal passenger
The car was acquired by the museum in 1947. Since then, it has been displayed at various events, including appearances on the Antiques Roadshow, Annika Rice’s Treasure Hunt, and the Lord Mayor’s Show in London.
In 1997, the Queen visited The Tank Museum – during which she was a passenger in the Rolls Royce.
David Fletcher explained that the car is fitted with a bracket for flying the royal standard – which it displayed when the Queen took her ride on the vehicle.
He added that while the car is still functional, the brakes “are not really that reliable.”
Mr Fletcher said:
“It really is quite a remarkable vehicle and we’re proud to have it. I think it’s my favourite exhibit as far as the whole place is concerned. It really is in very, very nice condition for a vehicle that is now 100 years old.”
100 years old and still running
Before its delivery, the car was armoured at Woolwich Arsenal in London in October 1920 before its delivery.
Such armoured vehicles were first seen during the First World War when well-off gentlemen would drive their cars to the front lines.
They would go on to be fitted with weapons and the Army deployed them with great success in the Middle East.